This was a Memorial Day that found us at war, the Brave New War with an uncertain outcome and timeframe. Say or think what you will about it, there's no denying the gratitude we owe those who find themselves fighting this war. Regardless of the reason or justification, hundreds have died. Hundreds more will likely join them. Thousands wait, far from home, lives disrupted, uncertain whether their homecoming will involve tears of joy or sorrow. This war is purgatory.
Memorial Day also saw the dedication of the national World War II Memorial in Washington. WWII was fought by Our Greatest Generation who rescued freedom from tyranny and, when done with that, created an America so rich and vast and liberated and honorable it transcended any the world had seen before. That America now stands threatened by an indefinite enemy.
A few days before Memorial Day, Al Gore gave a speech in New York: "George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world. He promised to "restore honor and integrity to the White House.' Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon. Honor? He decided not to honor the Geneva Conventions. Just as he would not honor the United Nations, international treaties, the opinions of our allies, the role of Congress and the courts, or what Jefferson described as "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind.' He did not honor the advice, experience and judgment of our military leaders in designing his invasion of Iraq. And now he will not honor our fallen dead by attending any funerals or even by permitting photos of their flag-draped coffins." A moving eulogy for the America I love.